By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the country must strengthen its internal capacities in the face of global shocks, covid-19 and climate change as this will enable Zimbabwe to forge ahead with its development agenda.
He was speaking this Wednesday when he presided over the Buy Zimbabwe 2022 Public Procurement Conference and Awards Ceremony which is running under the theme, ‘Unlocking Zimbabwe’s Economic Potential Through Public Procurement.’
Addressing stakeholders present at the ceremony, President Mnangagwa called for inclusive public procurement which he said was critical in the delivery of quality services.
“As we build our motherland, Zimbabwe, guided by our development philosophy “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”, inclusive public procurement is critical in the delivery of quality services and the overall performance of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” he said.
“In the wake of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and other global shocks we must strengthen our national resolve to ‘build back better’. It is equally critical that we scale up our country’s internal capacities, across all sectors.
“To this end, public procurement must be viewed more holistically, not only as a public administration tool, to purchase the needed goods and services, but also as a vehicle to lift many of our people from poverty into prosperity.”
President Mnangagwa called on government and its stakeholders to work together with a common understanding.
“Discussions at this forum should ensure that Government, business and other stakeholders are of a common understanding towards accelerating our country’s industrialisation, modernisation and economic growth.
“Equally, the implementation of the Local Content Strategy must be harnessed towards promoting the “Made in Zimbabwe; Buy Zimbabwe and Build Zimbabwe” initiative, for the speedy attainment of our country’s Vision 2030.
President Mnangagwa noted that his government is committed to increasing capacity utilisation of the manufacturing sector.
“It is gratifying to note that the various economic reforms being championed by my administration, coupled with concerted efforts of organisations such as the Buy Zimbabwe Trust, has seen locally produced goods now dominating shelf spaces.
“To consolidate this trend, my Government remains committed to fostering an enabling business environment and availing the requisite support to increase capacity utilisation in our country’s manufacturing sector. Similarly, research and development, as well as the registration of patents, support for innovation and inventions are being scaled up in a bid to have more locally made goods and services.
President Mnangagwa emphasised that his government is determined to support an entrepreneurial and innovative culture that will see young people answering the day to day needs of the country’s fast evolving and modernising socio-economic landscape.
The President also took the opportunity to commend local contractors and manufacturers of goods and services for production of high quality goods and services.
“In this regard, I congratulate local contractors for the sterling and professional work being undertaken in the construction and rehabilitation of our highways and roads. Only last week, I had the opportunity to drive along the Harare-Masvingo highway en route to an engagement at the Great Zimbabwe Monuments. The road is indeed impressive and a testimony of our abilities as a people. This culture of building our own country, ourselves, brick by brick, stone upon stone must transcend to all sectors of the economy.
“I was happy to observe, during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, that more and more of our local companies are producing quality and internationally competitive goods and services. We must unapologetically continue to grow our own food, invent and manufacture the products we use, build our own dams, factories, health and education infrastructure. Zimbabweans can do it. Nothing is impossible,” remarked President Mnangagwa.
The President called on entities to enforce due diligence and stamp out corruption within the public procurement system so that tenders are awarded to deserving and competent service providers.
“Due diligence and meticulous administration of tenders across Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Public Entities and Sate Owned Enterprises must remain key components of public procurement. Under the Second Republic, deserving, capable and competent service providers with demonstrable local content should be awarded tenders and contracts,” he emphasised.
He also noted that adoption of ICTs and administrative compliance measures must be deployed to eliminate interference, collusion, bid rigging or fraud by procurement officials adding that wherever corruption occurs in the public procurement process, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, together with other law enforcement agencies, must decisively apply the law, without fear or favour.